The Coral - Nightfreak and the Sons of Becker

by Bob Coyne Rating: Release Date:2004-01-26

Hoylake heroes the Coral have taken things one step further with this lo-fi limited edition, Nightfreak And The Sons Of Becker, having already honed and toned down their exuberant eclecticism on their last album. Planned as a stop-gap before their third album proper, there is nothing improper about this splendid stripped-down offering. Recorded live in only a week in North Wales with Ian Broudie at the production helm, it thrills with a raw energy, humour and scratchy punk-fuelled psychedelia.

Stand-out moments include the mellifluous acoustic-led groove "Sorrow or the Song", dub-inflected ode to gloom "Grey Harpoon" and the Cramps-style camp of "Migraine", which finds James Skelly repeatedly hollering "My Brain... I think I'm infected with a social decease". With an edgy sense of urgency this unrefined offering is mighty fine indeed, exposing the raw talent that makes the Merseyside sextet one of the most prolific and important UK acts of the moment. --Christopher Barrett

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